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New York State Thruway: You can't beet this de-icing plan
The New York State Thruway has plucked a secret weapon from the vegetable aisle to contend with this winter's icy season along its 570 miles of highway.
The briny mixture will be used alongside the authority's traditional arsenal of rock salt and snowplows as workers try to keep motorists safe from slips and slides.
Sugar beet juice and brine has proved to be an effective method for pre-treating roadways ahead of icy storms, Authority Chairman Howard Milstein said. And it saves overtime costs by allowing workers to pre-treat roadways during their regular working hours, he said.
"Using the beet brine mixture to pre-treat roadways is just one example of how the Thruway Authority maintains one of America's safest and most reliable superhighways even as we find new and better ways to control costs," Milstein said.
The Thruway employs some 600 workers around the clock in maintenance and safety efforts.
They have access to more than 200 snowplow trucks equipped with salt spreaders.
In addition, they estimate that this season, they will use some 180,000 tons of rock salt, 175,000 gallons of salt brine and another 50,000 gallons of its innovative beet brine mix.
State troopers will be on the lookout for icy condtions.
"It is crucial that all motorists understand the importance of remaining alert and driving safely through all conditions," said State Police Troop T Sgt. Thomas Ferritto.